Khadaji’s Whatcha Reading Thread - May 2022 edition

Here we are, another April in the can, another year older- and according to my 20 something offspring, I am officially ancient. May is upon us, green grass, leafy trees and flowers if you’re north of the equator, cooler temps and maybe snow if you’re south…

Either way, we just keep on reading, keep on reading:

On KIndle, I am reading The Complete Ghost Stories by M. R. James. Ghost stories is a bit of a misnomer, most of the stories involve demons, but we do have our share of ghosts.

In print: Labyrinth by Bill Pronzini, the 6th Nameless detective story. The blurb promises mayhem and murder, we’ll see.

On audio: Suspicious Behavior by Cari Z & L.A. Witt, the 2nd in their Bad Behavior series, about 2 cops dealing with the fall out of revealing corruption in the city government and local police force.

Khadaji was one of the earlier members of SDMB, and he was well-known as a kindly person who always had something encouraging to say, particularly in the self-improvement threads. He was also a voracious, omnivorous reader, who started these threads 'way back in the Stone Age of 2005. Consequently, when he suddenly and quite unexpectedly passed away in January 2013, we decided to rename this thread in his honor and to keep his memory, if not his ghost, alive.

Last Month: The season of yardwork is upon us

I found an ebook version of Cecilia Holland’s The Firedrake.
Almost finished with a real book, James Garner’s autobiography, The Garner Files.

Just downloaded via Libby The Investigator by John Sandford. First of a planned series featuring Letty Davenport, adopted daughter of Lucas Davenport.

Lies my Mother told Me by Melissa Rivers. Funny, and she sounds just like her mom.

I’ve been reading Jeff VanderMeer’s Ambergris books. I just finished Shriek, an Afterword, and I’m now getting ready to start Finch.

Finished All Stirred Up: Suffrage, Cookbooks, Food, and the Battle for Women’s Right to Vote, by Laura Kumin, which was okay.

Now I’m reading Klara and the Sun, by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Nearing the end of the encyclopedic The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance, by Ron Chernow. About 125 more pages.

I recently finished Stephen King’s Bag of Bones. This is the first King book I’ve read since Dreamcatcher was released ~20 years ago. As a teenager I read a lot of King and really enjoyed his work. But I had to force myself to finish Bag of Bones. The man can prattle on… and on… and on…

I’m curreny reading My Dark Vanessa by Kate Russell. I’m having a hard time finishing it because the subject matter is so dark. The antagonist is a middle aged male English teacher in a boarding school… and so am I. The rape descriptions make me sick, literally, but I feel I owe the author the courtesy of finishing the book. Plus, I really hope to see this sumbitch get his comeuppance.

I’m just over halfway through David Sedaris’s second collection of diary entries, A Carnival of Snackery (the title taken, he just revealed in the book, from a line on the menu of an Indian restaurant). It got off to a slow start but I’m in the groove and enjoying it much more now. Sedaris reads most of the audiobook, but Tracey Ullman, for no particular reason that I can figure out, reads some, too. A good chunk of it is set in London and she certainly does better women’s voices and British accents than he does.

I’m also reading John Scalzi’s sf adventure Zoe’s Tale, about humans hiding their new planetary colony from hostile aliens, and am re-reading some favorite short stories in Star Trek: The New Voyages, a 1976 collection of fanfic edited by Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath. It includes some surprisingly good pieces: “The Enchanted Pool,” “The Face on the Barroom Floor” and “Mind-Sifter,” especially.

That’s next up for me. :grimacing:

I just picked up a copy of Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2018 book Red Moon. Have not started it yet but as someone who loved the Mars trilogy he wrote I am willing to look past some not-so-good reviews for this book and judge it for myself.

I’ve read Star Trek: The New Voyages several times, and agree that they’re good. My favorite was the one in which part of the cast was beamed to the actual Enterprise.

Just finished Klara and the Sun , by Kazuo Ishiguro, which was good, but would have benefited by being shorter.

Now I’m reading Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All KInds, by Rachel Levin.

I enjoyed Red Moon, but it’s not one ot his best, inho. Currently waiting on his new non-fiction book The High Sierra arriving! It should arrive here next week sometime.

In the meantime I finished Sea of Tranquility by Hilary St.John Mandell, which had links with both her previous two books, Station Eleven & The Glass Hotel.I wouldn’t describe it as a trilogy though.
I liked the way it all came together at the end.
And now I’m reading Spear by Nicola Griffith, a Welsh Arthutrian novel of some sort! Only read a few pages but it’s interesting so far!

Finished Look Big: And Other Tips for Surviving Animal Encounters of All KInds , by Rachel Levin, which was interesting.

Now I’m reading Fugitive Telemetry: The Murderbot Diaries, by Martha Wells.

I guess I should get around to posting the Current State of the Book Pile, especially since I made a library run today.

  • Star Lore: Myths, Legends, and Facts, by William Tyler Olcott. This is a survey of the constellations, their origins, the myths surrounding them, and notes about the most interesting stars contained within. It was originally published in 1910 but it’s still fascinating.

  • Two for the Lions, by Lindsay Davis. Tenth in the Marcus Didius Falco series. Falco teams up with his arch-enemy Anacrites to audit the census and encounters two suspicious deaths in the sporting world: a famous gladiator and the Imperial Executioner, who happened to be a lion.

  • Twice Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne was much better at short stories than he was at novels, mainly because he was more willing to indulge his imagination. Realism wasn’t his true calling.

  • The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien. I inherited two editions of The Hobbit from my dad: the original authorized paperback version and the 50th anniversary hardbound version that comes in a gold slipcover. I’m reading the hardback. The paperback is nigh worn out and lives in a plastic bag now.

  • Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. Apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. I vaguely remember reading this years ago and I also remember remembering nothing about it.

  • Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel. I’m only one chapter in but I can already tell I’m going to love this.

  • Stones by Kevin Young. After Mary Oliver died I didn’t think I was ever going to find another poet whose new releases would make me squeal in the middle of the library. Then I discovered Kevin Young.

I’ve finished a bunch of books lately but I’ve not been in a posting mood. Most of them will show up on my book blog. Eventually. I have a bit of a backlog to work through.

My favorite podcaster did a three (maybe 4) part series about longitude. The Constant: A History of Getting Things Wrong is the podcast.

I’m reading it now, and really identifying with the dumb little girl. I would have totally gone down this path.

Yes, this is precisely what made My Dark Vanessa my favorite book of 2021 (because I read it in 2021)! On the one hand, adult you is completely horrified and compelled to shout at her “Get away from him! Get far, far away!” as though this fictional character could somehow hear you. But on the other hand, you remember what it’s like to be a teenager, and to be so desperate to feel attractive and intelligent and special and valued, so when Strane starts making her feel that way, you completely sympathize with her desire to come back for more and even encourage him.

I finished My Half Night Stand by Christina Lauren last night. It’s fluff, but enjoyable.